I must be most unfortunate in living in the North, swap meet - haggle a price for any item new or second hand and the stall holder will look away until such times as you remove yourself. Before anyone comments on the North, several stalls are manned by people from the midlands (they can argue of high coats in travelling).
I have been in several local and (easy travel distance) model shops, price shown and usually RRP is price you pay (argument: low profit margin or/and over heads being high).
In areas of a high population and demands equally high for railway models, the turn over will justify a reduction in prices.
I have found that the better bargains are at the bigger swopmeets as they draw larger crowds, more sellers and therefore more competition, obviously there are sellers who will haggle a bit and others who have the attitude of if you don't want it at that price then someone else will one day.
Over the last couple of years i have been to loads in the north of England from Manchester to Hull and down towards the midlands a bit, to the NEC once and Mansfield a couple of times basically trying to find a bit of variety, the wife gets bored now spending every other sunday at these things so we only do the bigger ones or ones that are local. Prices tend to be cheaper for newer items at the Lancashire meets. Typically its the Harrogate show this weekend but there is also a good swopmeet at the Reebok stadium in Bolton then typically nothing local the week after.
The thread on prices is interesting and one only has to look at the ads in the model press. The vast majority are almost the same. Jennings sell at RRP and this is reflected in the old stock that they carry. If you want something so badly after the vast majority of retailers have sold their's then Jennings is the place to look if you don't mind paying full RRP.
A couple of years ago I was slow on the take up for Bachmann's 37 "Loch Rannoch" A scottish retailer had "reserved" one for a customer but didn't know if he still wanted it. He said he would get back to me as to whether I could have it after he had spoken to the other chap. I can't remember the exact price but say it was advertised at £45. He didn't come back to me for a few days and I managed to get one elsewhere. When he did get back to me he said I could have it for £59. I challenged him over the price, only to be told if I wanted it that was the price. I had the pleasure of telling him I had managed to get one elsewhere and wasn't prepared to pay the inflated price. His ads are less in mags now and smaller. I wonder if his business is suffering? There are other retailers who put the price up from previously advertised when stock gets low. I think if you want something these days "Buy now while stocks last"
I have also seen the stupidly OTT pricing of items at the NRM. I think the sole aim of it is to get harassed parents to part with some cash after little junior has taken a fancy to them. Pure extortion in my book I wonder how hornby would view their policy. The bachmann stock did seem to be sold at full retail though.
Whats more worrying was when i was there they were replenishing the shelves so some poor mugs must've been buying.
Such liberties with pricing must give the wrong message to parents and kids as to the hobby being expensive especially if they follow up with a visit to their local TMC or modelzone or whatever they want to call it this week.
It might be interesting to get a response from the NRM about how they decide the prices.
I'm fed up with people who suggest that quality and low prices are mutually exclusive. They are not . When you buy any other type of item you expect good quality at the lowest price, but it seems not in model railways!
Per Chrisgus "Well i guess that you should be prepared to be buying less products.with your approach quality will inevitably suffer." No! We must drive standards up but not at any cost. Comments like this encourage increased prices.
And again per Chrisgus "Get real guy,nobody is profiteering" £80 for an M7 ! Come on !
Amazingly Hornbys super detailed 08 is now retailing at £45. Could that be because there's a pretty good Bachmann one. Now I would have thought an inside framed chassis 08 would be more difficult to construct than an M7 yet it will probably retail at £65. It only has coupling rods! Is the driver gold plated? Profit per unit must be huge on M7 compared to 08.
>quality and low prices are mutually exclusive. They are not
I disagree. I have the feeling that there is no room left in some products for further price reductions by simply shifting production to China. Now costs are being cut in materials and there comes a point where it all goes too far. During 2005 we had several products from respected manufacturers which failed soon after purchase for what I consider no better reason than cutting corners on components. Here's two examples
The power supply on a slimline Sony playstation 2 died of heat exhaustion after just 8 weeks - most of which was spent in standby mode. Sure, the unit was replaced by Sony, but it's not the quality you expect from them. Sony finally issued a general recall for that batch of power supplies in August.
We have several contract mobile phones where "free" upgrades are taken every 12 months. Two of the replacements were clam shell Motorolas. On day six months + 1, the first one appeared to fail with a blank display, then it would mysteriously start up again. After a while we learned that it was just the display that was not working and if you could remember the menus, you could make and receive calls - not much use for texts though. The high street "face" of the phone operator were clueless. We soldiered on; then the second phone started to do the same thing. Whilst having another fruitless visit to the phone shop we overheard another customer come in and start to explain exactly the same problem. Our son who was studying arts subjects for A level at the time worked out that it was a teeny weeny switch which is supposed to detect when the clam shell was opened but wasn't.
A few years ago these failures would either not have happened because better quality components would have been used or could have been caught with a proper QA process. The cost pressures in todays market are preventing this from happening.
The economy in China is growing at such an incredible rate that something has got to give. At present I think it is quality.
QUOTE Now I would have thought an inside framed chassis 08 would be more difficult to construct than an M7 yet it will probably retail at £65. It only has coupling rods! Is the driver gold plated? Profit per unit must be huge on M7 compared to 08.
The M7 is going to be Hornby's first superdetailed tank loco.
Best not to pass judgement on any model until it has been released. Also take into account that Hornby are likely to sell a lot more Class 08/09's than they are M7's. This all has to be factored in presumably. And let us also not forget that the N gauge example of this model sells for similar money! Hornby are going to have to sell a lot of M7's to get their rumoured £150,000 tooling costs back. And then there are productions costs on top!
I don't know why you should think that Chinese=quality anyway all they are doing is what they have always done and making copies of something. Just they do it at a fraction of the cost. If they weren't making loco's for hornby they would probably be copying designer goods for the counterfeit market.
There was even something on a few months ago saying that if you wanted to you could approach a Chinese factory to make practically anything and they could be up and running in about 3 months.
Remember all the cheap crap toys as a kid that were made in China and such places.
The increase in quality isn't from Chinese manufacture but the initial design.
I hate to worry you further but I've read that motorola are planning to open a plant in India, home of such wonderful products as the Mahindra jeep, Tata Gurkha and worst of all the short lived and virtually worthless now City rover
QUOTE I hate to worry you further but I've read that motorola are planning to open a plant in India, home of such wonderful products as the Mahindra jeep, Tata Gurkha and worst of all the short lived and virtually worthless now City rover
Just done a search in Autotrader and there are plenty of City Rovers for sale for over £4000. Maybe not such a good example to use!
I was merely trying to make a point that the next place to look for a reduction in labour costs is usually either the sub-continent or Africa, though i suppose they could stop off in Korea or Malaysia on the way.
It still amazes me that it is cheaper to produce something at the other side of the world,ship it over and pay the import duties than to have a factory over here.
Look at the rover thing this way then even the Chinese draw the line somewhere!
And i don't blame them after we gave them the equipment to build the Morris Ital in the early 90's. No wonder they all ride bikes!
By the way Gary i'm not offending a former Longbridge employee am I?
If I am I apologise but my general apathy towards the motor industry comes from a 13 year career in the repair trade.
Can't say i've had much to do with the City Rover yet apart from thinking how dull it looks.
Whilst we are talking railways as I have been told many times when Rover cars were brought into the equation, I must say that Rover made a big mistake with the City Rover. I am a staunch Rover fan and had the misfortune to be given one of these Indian made heaps as a service car whilst my V6 45 was being serviced. It averaged 8mpg and was full of faults. An absolute load of junk. I can see the concern over products from China, and can only say that the company my wife works for buys thousands of parts from China. Many make their products unreliable. We will have to see re model railways what happens. I have had 2 faulty Chinese made items up to now. That said I was buying lots so from my point of view at present I think we may be OK.
Years ago, in the mid 1950s the UK workforce lost all their pride in producing a well made product. The unions caused unrest and strife in the work force. As I well remember, not a week went by, when a work force went on strike for a rise in the pay packet - and from then on the wage rocketed to its present rate.
It is little wonder as to why China and other Asian countries now benefit and rejoice at the UK work force now producing next to nothing - even banking and call centers are now drifting to Asian countries.
If given the chance at this late date, models being made in the UK would be of higher quality than at present - .
It was true that Chineese labour is very cheap and this does enable more detailed locos.
But what about all the other Hornby locos shipped off to China. There's no super detail on them. What about the coaches, wagons and track? They must all now be cheaper since transferred to China. Haven't seen the price drop though.
Per Gary "The M7 is going to be Hornby's first superdetailed tank loco." I thought this was the Fowler 2-6-4T. About £10 cheaper I think , despite more complicated valve gear . Also my original comment stands - it can't be more complicated to construct than the 08.
In response to dwb ">quality and low prices are mutually exclusive. They are not
I disagree. I have the feeling that there is no room left in some products for further price reductions by simply shifting production to China."
Try looking at Hornbys Annual Accounts - you'll find lots of room in their. No not suggesting its bad to make profits- just that they might be driving their margins too high at our expense. Would love to see the unit costing for the M7
I just have a couple of comments. Many of these same points were brought up when things started to be made in Japan. We bemoned quality and said that all they could do was copy our products. Haven't heard that much anymore about the Japanese.
I suspect as things progress the same will be said for the Chinese. This is something not limited to the UK. How long will American car manufacturers last? One is already owned by Mercedes. I stopped worring about this a long time ago and instead focused on how I could compete in this marketplace. Most of us have benefited from the shift in manufacturing even though we wish it were not so.
That is a very valid point of view Dennis regards the Japs, now we look to Japan as a benchmark of the quality we in the UK kid ourselves we once built to ourselves. The srandard of build quality in the UK has as double00 points out been diminished over the last half a century to the point where we now find ourselves at best assembling imported parts to make everything from cars to vacuum cleaners.
The Japanese still equate Made in Great Britain as top quality and ship back thousands of UK built cars every year. Where's the logic in that? Even the new BMW mini is assembled over here from parts made around the world The engine of the damn thing is either made in Brazil for the petrol ones or coimes from a Toyota for the diesel.
Its a sign of how times change that the west is happy to look to a country which not 20 years ago massacred anyone who opposed its way of living in order to fuel the consumerised way of life over here. I wonder what they pay per hour in the Chinese factories.
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